Dear Dr. Foster,
How can I get to rock solid truth about my manic depression illness, and eliminate it? Almost died from toxic level of lithium. Valproic acid caused severe swelling in lower legs and feet. At present I'm on Tegretol - XR. Please, I'm 68 and I've had this thing for 30 years and followed the "experts." There's just got to be a better way.
In the Dumps
Dear In the Dumps,
I feel for your situation. Manic depression can be very difficult for everyone involved. I hope that the following suggestions will be helpful to you on your journey to reach wholeness again. The medical profession offers no explanation for the illness except that it may be caused by a lack of the mineral lithium. However, the synthetic litihum when administered, can cause many problems including kidney damage and interference with thyroid function. I feel the most important causes for manic depression include hypoglycemia, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, a previous severe emotional trauma, poor circulation of blood to the head, and abnormalities of the endocrine system.
1. I've known of many people who had been diagnosed with severe emotional disorders who really just had a problem with the thyroid. The thyroid tests the medical doctors use did not find the problem, but when they used holistic therapies to balance the thyroid, they found the "craziness" went away. I use an herbal formula containing the herbs dong quai, wild yam, chaste tree berry and other herbs and essential oils which may be used for both men and women. (Female Harmony Formula) or Adrenal Support, a formula that contains adaptogenic herbs that help balance hormones and blood sugar levels.
2. For specific therapies, I might suggest Craniosacral work because it helps to balance the cerebrospinal fluid which helps the brain to function better. I recently had some craniosacral work done and was very impressed with the results. The craniosacral work helps to release blocked movement in the cranial bones that can cause a blockage in the natural flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Blocked movement in the cranial bones can cause many brain dysfunctions including manic depression, learning diabilities, and even Parkinson's Disease.
3. There are many yoga techniques that can be used to balance brain function. Alternate nostril breathing is very helpful, as are many meditation techniques and breathing exercises. These help to calm the mind and bring about emotional balance.
4. I usually suggest high amounts of B vitamins to help rebuild the nervous system. How my clients get absorbable B vitamins is by taking 1-2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast every day. I like Red Star B-12 fortified yeast. It is available in most health food stores, sometimes sold in the bulk bins. In addition, a B12 deficiency can also cause severe emotional problems, and a deficiency is not rare, considering the standard American processed food diet. Depending on the cause of a possible vitamin B12 deficiency, you may wish to consider sublingual or parenteral injections of vitamin B12 to rapidly rebuild the levels in your body. I use a formula called Earth's Nutrition which contains nutritional yeast in additional to algaes which produce a sense of well-being.
5. Some people with manic depression do well on brain balancing herbs such a ginkgo biloba. I've noticed some people have a noticeable lift in mood as well as a lessening of hostile feelings on the herbal brain formula that I use. (Brain Regain Formula) I've actually been quite impressed with the results on this formula. I discovered it by accident when my manic clients who took the formula for other reasons (e.g. to help study for exams) experienced relief from their manic symptoms.
6. For food programs, I have found a vegetarian food program to be the best in managing the emotions. According to ancient yogic texts, a vegetarian diet helps produce a calmness in the mind. Eating meat tends to produce more anger, irritation, fears, and other intense emotions. I had a client diagnosed with manic depression and her problem was that her blood sugar levels had been spiking up and down all the time, which caused her to have wide mood swings. She was able to control the symptoms by going on a hypoglycemic diet which eliminated all refined sugar (soda pop, candy, candy bars, cakes, cookies, pies, etc.) and refined (enriched) flour from her diet and by eating smaller meals more often with protein at each meal (such as almonds or tofu). This allowed her blood sugar (and thus, her emotions) to stabilize. If you can eliminate the sugar, refined flour and caffeine out of your diet, after a while, things just have to get calmer. The benficial effect of the hypoglycemic diet can be augmented by taking the Sweet Essence Essential Oil Blend. This is a blood sugar balancing blend that helps prevent sugar highs and lows.
I also had another client with manic depression who came out of his severe depression with the Essential Nutrients Formula which he took for about a week, when he noticed his depression he had had for years was gone. He continues to take this formula. The algaes and cereal grasses in this formula were helping to stabilize his blood sugar levels as well as supplying trace minerals and essential amino acids that he had not been getting on his Standard American meat-based diet. Without amino acids, the brain cannot synthesize needed neurotransmitters (such as dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, or melatonin). Without the proper amount of neurotransmitters, severe emotional problems frequently result. There are several green formulas on the market. They are a helpful addition to EVERYONE's diet to build healthy blood, bones and nervous system.
I met a lady last yeast at a Hallelujah Acres convention who had beaten her manic depression with a mainly raw vegan diet. She spent all sorts of money she didn't have during her manic episodes. Her doctor told her she could never have a baby because getting pregnant would very much aggravate her manic depression. She switched over to the special diet, became pregnant and had a baby - all without problems, and she now considers herself to be free of this problem. The diet is a pure vegetarian diet that excludes meat, dairy and eggs. White flour and white sugar are also not allowed. 80% of the diet is raw and 20% is allowed to be cooked. It includes juicing and the addition of a green food formula.
7. For specific help with difficult emotional states, you may want to investigate Bach Flower Remedies. These are available in nearly every health food store. There is a small paperback book in most of these health food stores which describe how to use them. I might suggest the remedies Vervain (for mania), Mustard (for feeling depressed out of the blue for no reason, and Cherry Plum (for depression, suicidal feelings and fear of losing the mind.) I would encourage looking through this book and really get into these remedies. They have helped me and my clients tremendously with clearing negative emotions.
8. Also, there are some wonderful essential oils for dealing with difficult emotions. Some good ones for managing manic depression are Relaxing Essential Oil Blend, Lavender, Orange, grapefruit and Lemon. Many people find the citrus oils emotional uplifting.
The above information should have you starting to feel better. In the meantime, keep reading and researching more about the natural alternatives available. You CAN heal from this.
of my hearfelt wishes for your healing,
Program For Managing Manic Depression:
Brain Regain Formula or Antidepressant Formula
Vibrant Colon Formula (for most people) or Colon Starter Plus Formula (extra strength)
Colon Detox Caps
Female Harmony or Adrenal Support or FemoPause Formula if menopausal or perimenopausal
Additional powdered nutritional yeast: 1 - 2 TBS per day
Orange oil or Relaxing Essential Oil Blend (inhale and use topically for mood)
No sweets, candies, pies, cakes, cookies or sugar
Yoga classes, especially pranayama and meditation to calm the mind
After some improvement, the Liver Regeneration Program is also suggested>
If you are over the age of 35, or gallstones are suspected, use the Stone Buster Formula for 4 days before beginning the Liver Regeneration Program
"A Secure Individual... Knows That The Responsibility
For Anything Concerning His Life Remains With Himself
- And He Accepts That Responsibility"
- Harry Browne